The Newsletter 56 Spring 2011

Challenges of the Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia (ChATSEA)

Paul Kratoska

WHEN THE COUNTRIES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA became independent shortly after the end of the Pacific War, their populations were predominantly rural and agricultural, but today the region is rapidly urbanizing, and developing industrial and market-based economies. The ChATSEA project was conceived to study this transformation. Directed by Professor Rodolphe de Koninck, holder of the Canada Chair in Asian Research at the University of Montreal, the original round of research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada under its Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) programme and was implemented over a period of nearly six years, from early 2005 to late 2010. The research team comprised 28 scholars, drawn primarily from economic, cultural and environmental geography but including participants working in history, sociology, anthropology, economics, women’s studies, urban studies and planning. The team members, belonging to three generations of scholars, were attached to 21 different universities or research institutions: 10 in Canada, 7 in Southeast Asia, 2 in Europe and 1 in Australia.